£4,645
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31
backers
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Funding Canceled
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on Jun 15 2018
David UrbanBy David Urban
First created
David UrbanBy David Urban
First created
£4,645
pledged of £10,000pledged of £10,000 goal
31
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Canceled
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on Jun 15 2018

About

What?

A web-series of short videos documenting Russia's World Heritage Sites. There will also be a longer documentary comprising the journey's highlights and key themes: The local, the global (UNESCO) and the undiscovered. 

Why?

As the rhetoric between Britain and Russia heats up in light of recent news events and talk of a global slide into a second Cold War, the need for common ground between the two cultures has never been greater. This summer, with the world's eyes on Russia for the FIFA World Cup, my project offers a different focus. 

Beyond Your World: Into Russia will show you a different side to the tournament, the host country and its citizens in 2018. From Kaliningrad’s mysterious dancing forest with contorted tree trunks, to SS Baikal, a little-known ice-breaker built in Newcastle and delivered to Tsarist Russia in 1895. It now lies abandoned 6,000 miles from its home on the northern shores of Russia’s Lake Baikal, the deepest lake on earth.

You could meet Leo Tolstoy's descendant, Fekla Tolstoya among many others in modern Russia: from major artists in Saint Petersburg's rap scene to old believers preaching shamanic rituals on Olkon Island.  

How?

Russia's vibrant culture has produced some of the greatest writers, artists and composers the world has ever seen, all against the backdrop of some of the most beautiful areas on earth, which is the canvas for this project.

I intend to travel across the country, documenting and filming UNESCO World Heritage Sites deemed "important to the collective interests of humanity", capturing stunning scenery, interviewing experts from the sites, cutting through the political noise and giving a voice to those who would otherwise be left unheard.

The Route

Credit: Telegraph Graphics
Credit: Telegraph Graphics

Going from west to east across the Russian Federation, my team and I will travel from one UNESCO World Heritage Site to the next, filming them in a web series uploaded to YouTube with weekly episodes profiling each site. 

Pictured is the Russian Orthodox Solovetsky Monastery complex. The archipelago it was built on is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This will be our fourth stop on the trip.
Pictured is the Russian Orthodox Solovetsky Monastery complex. The archipelago it was built on is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This will be our fourth stop on the trip.
The ice-breaker SS Baikal in its heyday and where it lies today
The ice-breaker SS Baikal in its heyday and where it lies today
Another destination on our route – Pegrema, an abandoned town of skeletal wooden homes, close to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kizhi Pogost, in Karelia
Another destination on our route – Pegrema, an abandoned town of skeletal wooden homes, close to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kizhi Pogost, in Karelia

Community-Driven Content 

  • Fans will also be able to follow the adventure live through a Google Maps link to see exactly where we are in the largest country in the world.  
  • "Co-Producers" will be invited to the BYW: Into Russia WhatsApp group where they can discuss with the producers and me our progress and developments throughout, and give opinions on what should happen next.  
  • Becoming an "Executive Producer" on the production will give you the chance to join the production for certain parts of the trip.
  • Throughout the journey, we'll be working with aspiring/new filmmakers looking to make an impression on the art and media world. We're going to use different cinematographers at each site we visit, giving undiscovered Russian talent the chance to film and show off their own hometown. 

Anything Else?

Sustainable tourism will be a key theme to the trip, trying to see how people can enjoy but still preserve these sites is critical. We'll ask local guides and UNESCO representatives what is needed to make this happen.  

Team

Team members from left to right: Toby Mcdonald, David Urban, Nikita Pashchenko
Team members from left to right: Toby Mcdonald, David Urban, Nikita Pashchenko
  • David Urban (Director) is a 27-year-old filmmaker and journalist, formerly employed by The Daily Telegraph newspaper in London and the BBC. David edit-produced the award-winning viral hit Leading Without Limbs which garnered over 90-million views.
  • Stuart Urban (Executive Producer) is a two-time BAFTA award-winning filmmaker and screenwriter.   
  • An Ungentlemanly Act, (Winner BAFTA for Best Single Drama, 1993) Our Friends In The North (Winner BAFTA for Best Drama Serial, 1997) Tovarisch, I Am Not Dead (Winner Lancia Prize for Best Documentary, 2006)
  • Toby Macdonald (Assistant Director) is background lies both in filmmaking and performance. He recently returned from the US where he graduated from the New York Film Academy and then the Terry Schreiber Studio. As an old friend of David Urban's and a seasoned traveller, he is thrilled to be part of the project. 
  • Nikita Pashchenko (Creative Producer) For 11 years Nikita’s travel companies have created and managed beautiful and engaging travel itineraries for discerning travelers within Russia, as well as worldwide. He has led many photo-tours telling stories of places and people with a camera.

Risks and challenges

We'll do our best to make it as far as we can but might be delayed at various points on the journey for several reasons including: Kickstarter backers paying to join the production at various points (and all the logistical requirements therein), being arrested (always a risk when filming in Russia as a foreigner), visa issues (some on the production including myself might have to leave the country to renew our visa and then re-enter), requests getting lost in translation (taxi drivers, lack of translators with us for a particular leg of the trip), equipment getting lost or pinched (and the accompanying insurance claims) and many more. We reserve the right to change any rewards and/or their delivery because of unforeseen circumstances. With all that in mind, we'll still do our level best to go as far as we can and show you the best of what Russia has to offer.

The eventual plan is to visit all 28 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Russia, but we might not manage it with the funds we secure in the Kickstarter campaign. So, we'll do as many as we can as well as we can then re-assess once the campaign is complete. Stretch goals might allow us to make most of the sites this summer, and then we can finish the job next spring when the ice thaws and we can reach some of the more remote places such as Wrangel Island.

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    Download

    Full HD download of final version of the film and a heartfelt thank you on our social media page.

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    Early bird

    Digital Download of the Film before official release. Available to Kickstarter Backers only.

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    'Baltic gold' from Kaliningrad

    Original amber crafts and jewellery made by a fixer on the production's family who have been making amber produce in Kaliningrad since the 1990s. We'll pick a selection of items from their selection, and send you a gift whether it be a necklace or paperweight, It'll be made with amber.

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    Pledge £50 or more About $65

    For the geologists! Solovetsky stones

    The walls of Solovetsky monastery were constructed with often huge boulders (up to 5m in length!) put into place by builders centuries ago and have stood the test of time ever since. And no, I'm not planning to tear this ancient rock from its home (that would be impressive), but instead plan to send some symbolic (and smaller) stones, tokens, from the surrounding moat and riverbed where 15th century masons sourced rocks from the same spots to build the monastery's enclosure.

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    Small Print Collection

    A collection of 8 of the finest photographs taken during the trip, signed by me, David Urban.

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    Photo album

    A leather-bound photo album filled with a personal selection of the best stills taken during the trip, many of which will never be released to the public.

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    A hand-made gift from Siberian shamans

    From amethyst stone to wooden carvings and painted tapestries. We can't guarantee what they might make for us, but what we can say is it'll be a unique gift and something to treasure.

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    Mementos from each World Heritage Site

    The amber gift from Kaliningrad, stones from Solovetsky island, a (faux...) Faberge egg from the Hermitage museum, and a hand-made trinket from shamans living near Lake Baikal.

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    Associate Producer

    – A personal thank you video message from the director and producers
    –Credited as a "Founding Producer" in the film

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    Founding Producer, welcome to the team!

    – Access to the production’s WhatsApp group where we discuss details of the project, any progress made and or/any developments as they happen throughout the journey
    –Credited as a "Associate Producer" in the film

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    Co-Producer

    – Access to the production WhatsApp group
    - Invitation to certain stages of post-production on the project as we work on the edit, sound design and music in London (No travel or accommodation costs included)
    – Credited as a "Co-Producer" in the film

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    Dinner with the directors

    – Dinner with David Urban and Stuart Urban, the director and executive producer of the programme. Stuart Urban is a two time BAFTA award-winning filmmaker and executive producer of Beyond Your World: Into Russia.

    (Travel to London and accommodation at your own expense)

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    Executive Producer

    – Opportunity to join the production on the trip wherever we are in Russia (travel and accommodation excluded)
    –  Credited as an "Executive Producer" in the film
    – Access to the production’s exclusive WhatsApp group

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Funding period

- (30 days)